Renovating and Reminiscing: Honoring the Old, and Welcoming the New
Renovations hold a special place in our hearts. There's something so rewarding about breathing new life into an old home. Each renovation embodies the personality of its owner, reflecting their family, lifestyle, and aspirations. Yet, amidst this passion, many builders stay away from renovations. The complexities, unknowns, and unpredictable pricing make them less enticing than starting a new build.
At Natelli Homes, however, renovations are our forte. Decades of experience have sharpened our expertise in navigating these challenges, making us exceptionally adept at transforming spaces.
For me, the love for renovations traces back to my grandfather, Bill Ritchie. He owned a small hardware store in Concord, North Carolina (in the background of the photo below).
This was long before the era of Home Depot or Lowes, so this little store was very important to the town. In this store I learned the essence of caring for possessions. Whether I was stocking paint, sorting nuts and bolts, or sweeping the worn oak floors - which would now be prized as reclaimed flooring in any custom home today - every task imparted a lesson in ownership and proper maintenance.
Society in the 1950s did not include the word “disposable."
My grandparents were influenced by the Great Depression so every possession was valued and cared for. Bill instilled the value of proper care and upkeep for everything we owned to make stuff last as long as possible. He even taught me the art of sharpening knives and scissors so we could keep using them. We shared a lot of happy memories together; I loved fishing with him often and he even bought me a Shakespeare reel which I used for 20 years. This reel has become a cherished heirloom, as it now holds a place of honor on display in my closet.
About 15 years ago I found this photo of Bill’s company truck circa 1952. That’s my older brother and sister in the back of the truck. The truck, with its unique round cab windows, had a beautiful hand-painted logo and a phone number with only four digits on the door. In a time before rotary phones, it hinted at an era when life was simpler, and connections were made through human-operated switchboards. This nostalgic glimpse reinforced the values imparted by my grandfather - cherishing what we own and the power of maintenance.
I tried to find this exact truck with the logo on the door, but it was gone, probably crushed and recycled for scrap. So I found a very similar looking 1952 Chevy 5-window truck in Atlanta instead. Bringing it home, I embarked on a restoration journey as a tribute to Bill Ritchie's legacy. The process mirrored the rewards witnessed in our home renovations.
Witnessing the great metamorphosis in these homes evokes the same sense of fulfillment as reviving this old truck. Whether it's a kitchen, a bathroom, or even a whole floor, we love completing renovations to give a home a second life.
Every home, whether freshly purchased or cherished for years, holds untapped potential.
Since parting with that truck, I've completed four other car restorations. Engaging in this hobby feels very therapeutic to me.
Each restoration, much like a renovation, encapsulates the transformative power of caring for what we hold dear and preserving our legacy.
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For information about Rehoboth Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island & Ocean View, Delaware, call Diane Smith at 302.379.5451
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